Friday, July 28, 2017

Delay in New High School Building Opening

Dear Wiseburn and Da Vinci Community,
As a result of construction delays stemming from the bankruptcy of the main electrical contractor and some setbacks on the soil condition in the new parking lot, the opening of the main academic building (Phase 1) of Wiseburn High School - home of the Da Vinci high schools, will be delayed by approximately  6-8 weeks.  The three high schools (Da Vinci Communications, Da Vinci Design and Da Vinci Science), which had been scheduled to occupy the building at 201 N. Douglas Street in El Segundo, will instead start their school year on August 22 at their previous locations.  The tentative timeline for moving into the new building is in October, however a specific move-in date has not yet been finalized.  
At the construction site, crews have been diligently working six-day weeks to make up the lost time from the change in electrical contractors that occurred in April.  Significant progress was made in May and June, bringing most of the project back onto the timeline for a successful August opening.  Unfortunately, significant setbacks related to the guidelines of the Division of the State Architect (DSA) for Fire/Life/Safety and soil complications in the main parking lot have resulted in delays that require a change in the projected date of occupancy.  In the parking lot, several soil issues have been uncovered related to old pipes that need a mitigated removal process, resulting in delays.  For Fire/Life/Safety, the design of the smoke filtration system, alarm systems and fire door protections are extremely complex in this large four-story building.  The delays in the electrical set-up have resulted in a domino-effect and unforeseen complications that have not allowed enough time for the required testing of these systems in advance of occupancy.  Needless to say, the Wiseburn Unified School District and the Da Vinci Schools will not put students or school staff into the building until all systems have been thoroughly tested and cleared by the building commissioning agents. We are committed to opening the building and moving in all three schools as soon as it is certified as safe for occupancy.  
Starting out the school year for several weeks at the high schools' current campuses is clearly not ideal. School principals have been developing contingency plans for reopening the Del Aire and Aviation campuses that had already been packed up in preparation for the move to the new campus.  We are asking for the cooperation and patience of our students, staff, families and the community to work through this short-term setback as we continue toward our long-term commitment to opening a beautiful, world-class new high school campus.  A Grand Opening/Ribbon Cutting celebration will take place in the fall after we move into the new building. Phase 2 construction that includes a pool, gym and playing field is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2018. For questions about construction, please contact Tom Johnstone, Wiseburn Superintendent at (310) 643-3025.